Celebrate Earth Day With an Earth Dinner

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

If you’re looking for an easy, fun way to show your support for the environment and eat healthy on Earth Day, we’ve got just the thing—an Earth Dinner. After all, every holiday has its own food tradition except Earth Day, until now. Start by planning a dinner with as many local, seasonal and organic ingredients as possible—supporting local and organic farmers is a great way to celebrate Earth Day.

Then, get to know the story behind your food. Where did it come from? Who were the farmers? What is the history of each dish’s recipe, or the food itself? Finally, have some meaningful conversation about food, sustainable farming and your own connection to the food, the earth and each other.

We kick off Earth Dinners on Earth Day, but an Earth Dinner can be held at any time of the year (for example, harvest time is a perfect time for local, seasonal foods). Make it Earth Day any day!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

How do I do an Earth Dinner?

The best thing about the Earth Dinner is it doesn’t have to be a “dinner.” It can be a sit-down meal or a stand-up social hour; a non-profit fundraiser meal or a for-profit restaurant theme night; potluck, catered or home-cooked. It can be celebrated around a restaurant table, picnic table or the dining room table. It can be as planned or as spontaneous as you like.

No matter the style, there are only three “rules”:

Use as many local, seasonal and organic ingredients as possible.

Buying foods grown and distributed locally supports your local farmers, allowing them and their families to stay on the land. And going organic ensures that you are feeding your loved ones foods that are produced without pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, as well as the added knowledge that the animals were treated with respect and care throughout their lives.

Know the story behind your food.

Where did the ingredients come from? Who was the farmer? What’s the history of this recipe? Not only are these questions a good way to get your friends and family thinking about where their food comes from, you could stumble upon some wonderful stories in the process!

Have meaningful conversation about food, farming and your connection to the earth and each other.

Stories are a beautiful way to share wisdom and connect. Give each person a chance to speak—including your children—and listen with love and attention. You may be surprised what you’ll learn about someone you’ve known for years.

That’s it! Beyond the basics listed above, anything goes. If you’re stumped, read more about hosting various kinds of events at “Earth Dinner How-To.”

Get planning

We want to help you host an awesome activity, so here are a few resources to inspire you and your guests:

NEW Earth Dinner Card Deck (email us): Turn your meal into a game. Contains questions and activities to inspire fun and conversation around the dinner table.
The Earth Dinner Booklet (PDF): Contains inspirational quotes and conversation questions. Use around the table, or copy onto cards to pass around.
Download the Earth Dinner Toolkit (coming soon): Sample planning checklist, editable poster, multi-purpose postcard. Customize them to promote your event or write your own Earth Dinner conversation questions.
Click here to read more on planning your own Earth Dinner.

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[source: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/11/celebrate-earth-day-with-earth-dinner/]

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